Uncovering a family history can be a labor of love and a lifelong pursuit. Genealogy is a hobby that can be casual or intense. In the process, those on the hunt for a clear picture of their family's past will find they can come across more information and documents than they can easily store or organize. This is where free genealogy software can really come in handy.
Whether it's a database system or a simple family tree maker, a computer program can very much ease the process of collecting history. Since most people want to create as detailed a picture of the past as possible everything from birth and death dates to likes, dislikes, employment histories and more about ancestors will likely be included in a full family history.
Putting together a family history is a labor of love. Depending on how far back a person wants to research, the effort can be quite an undertaking that may involve many years and even travel to complete. And of course, all the while, new additions to the family history will be written along the way.
Good programs to help researchers, whether free or not, typically include a number of features that make organization more simplistic. On the basic level, for those who only want to create a family tree with limited information, a free program should at least enable the creation of a printable document that might help others do more detailed research in the future.
Extensive programs meant to track everything possible about all family members do exist. These are the choice of many who pursue genealogy on a more rigorous basis and since they're computerized the data base (if a laptop is available) is more than portable.
Good programs in general offer some of the following features:
* Easy to understand instructions for operation and inputting of materials. The program itself will handle the formatting and data base organization.
* Simple editing options that allow for the addition and subtraction of material on an individual entry as needed. Good programs enable the input of as much information about a person as the researcher deems necessary.
* Easy to use search mechanism. Since family histories can become very long, a solid program enables the researcher to quickly find information about any person in the data base.
* Sourcing ability. Storing documents obtained during research can be difficult. To keep them all handy is nearly impossible. Sourcing abilities allow for footnoting to tell the researcher where certain information came from so if the need arises he or she can prove their work or go back to the source document for additional information if it's required.
* Printing capabilities. Half the fun of creating a family history is sharing the information that's been discovered. Good overall programs will enable a quick print of a simple family tree or timeline without having to print out the entire data base.
Creating a family history is a fun and rewarding pursuit that can give researchers a clear look at their own past. Keeping up with all of the documents and information, however, can become tedious. Good programs do the work of organizing for researchers, freeing up their time for more serious pursuit.
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Jessica Deets researches the internet and writes information to help people. You can find out more news and ideas about family history and genealogy at www.genealogyworkbook.com
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